A scheme which has helped rough sleepers in London is to be launched in Liverpool and the surrounding area on 2nd February 2012.
‘No second night out’ is a government backed scheme which tries to ensure that rough sleepers spend no more than one night on the streets.
Six Councils in our local region have signed up to the scheme to be launched on 2nd February 2012, including, Liverpool, Wirral, Sefton, St Helens, Knowsley and Halton.
It is understood that the government has provided a fund of £120,000 to be used to provide a free local phone number, outreach provisions and to coordinate services.
The scheme works by having a helpline which people can call if they are aware that someone is sleeping rough. An outreach worker will then be dispatched to help the individual access support services such as housing, benefits and mental health services. I believe that money will also need to be invested on advertising the scheme to the public to encourage them to engage, rather than ignore the problem of rough sleepers.
It is reported that in London where the scheme already exists, just 16% of people who were helped by the scheme, returned to the streets.
Mark McPherson, director of practice and regions at Homeless Link, said ‘The Liverpool region is leading the way on this commitment outside London. We look forward to supporting them on their journey.’
I say ‘well done’ to Liverpool and the surrounding Councils. Rough sleeping is a serious problem and it’s great to know that here in the North West we are committed to tackling the problem. Given the current plans for welfare reform, it is predicted that the homeless figures will increase; we will need schemes like this in place to help the worst affected people obtain access to support and services as soon as possible.
By housing solicitor, Victoria Finley